2 Chronicles 32: 1—33: 13
It is crazy to me that idol worship is so much a part of the culture that king Sennacherib assumes the God of Israel, the One True God, is just one in the pantheon of fake gods people made up. Also remember, Israel was supposed to worship God the way He told them to so that the nations around them would see for themselves that the God of Israel was the One True God. But as we saw yesterday, they are loosely following God’s commands. The one thing they do have going for them is their hearts are in fully devoted to God. That is the only requirement that is non-negotiable for God. So, because their hearts are in it, God STOMPS on Sennacherib and his army for them. After all the mocking Sennacherib did, I pictured him looking around at the devastation and his dead army and God saying to him from heaven, “How do you like Me now?”
Romans 15: 23—16: 9
Well if you didn’t love Paul before I hope that as you got to read what he desired for himself and his fellow believers you do now. It’s crazy to read this and know that God put the desire in his heart to go to Rome. Paul made plans to travel there. And what finally got Paul there was the fact that he had been arrested and had to present his case to Caesar. The very people he asked them to pray for in this section are the ones that turned on him. But in it all we see God at work. Moving his plan along to get the message of Jesus out into the world. And we can trust that God is doing the same kinds of things in our lives.
Also, relationships matter to Paul. There is just something really moving about the fact that Paul is real enough to recognize people who have responded to the love of Jesus by loving others. I mean this is Paul, guy who got stoned, got up, walked back into the town and said, “And another thing…” To know that he was comforted by these people just makes it all really relatable. But also, this means that the small moments when we love a fellow believer really do have a huge impact.